Back to Trail Four – Wigtown to Stranraer

RAF Wig Bay and Loch Ryan

Unique amongst south-west Scotland’s RAF airfields, Wig Bay had no runways. It was a base throughout the war for flying boats, particularly Short Sunderlands and Consolidated Catalinas.

Situated on the western shores of Loch Ryan near Stranraer, the area had been used for seaplane testing during World War 1, and became active again during World War 2.

240, 209 and 228 Squadrons of Coastal Command flew operational missions over the Atlantic and Irish Sea from here, and it was also home to a Sunderland Operational Training Unit, and a Flying Boat Servicing Unit which merged with 57 Maintenance Unit. Comedian Tony Hancock was stationed here during the war.

In the 1950s, dozens of Sunderlands were stored then scrapped here on the many concrete beaching areas which can be seen to this day.

Today, few structures remain but the beaching area is adjacent to the shoreline and the slipways and hangar bases can still be seen and make a pleasant place to explore on foot.

Image credit – Dumfries & Galloway Aviation Museum collection

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